Expert view

Key questions about IoT in consumer goods: Q&A with GlobalData analyst

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Shabnam Pervez (MBPsS) is a thematic analyst at GlobalData. She has been working on the thematic team for over four years, with extensive experience and understanding of emerging technology trends across varying markets including apparel, automotive, consumer goods, healthcare, medical devices, packaging, and retail. Before joining GlobalData, Shabnam graduated from King's College London with a Psychology MSc and was a pandemic researcher for Public Health England.

What are the most exciting developments in IoT for the consumer goods industry today?  

Shabnam Pervez: The consumer goods industry is brimming with exciting developments in IoT, making it a truly dynamic space. From smart packaging to hyperconnected homes.

Smart packaging is intelligent packaging that monitors freshness, detects counterfeits, and even interacts with your smart speakers to reorder when supplies are low. RFID tags, biosensors, and other technologies are enabling real-time tracking of products, optimising supply chains, and reducing waste.

IoT is also enabling hyper connected smart homes; a home where devices not only talk to each other but also anticipate individual needs. That's the future of hyper-connected homes, where smart lighting adjusts based on the consumers mood, the oven preheats automatically when grocery lists are compiled, and your washing machines automatically adjust settings based on the fabric type.

Which areas of the consumer industry do you think will benefit most from IoT solutions?

Shabnam Pervez: The consumer landscape is witnessing a thrilling revolution with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). Imagine a refrigerator whispering "milk low, ordering now" or your workout clothes suggesting a personalised training routine based on real-time heart rate data. These sci-fi dreams are fast becoming reality, especially in sectors like home and living and leisure and entertainment. 

In smart homes, automation takes centre stage. Appliances anticipate your needs, thermostats adjust to your mood, and lighting dances to your preferences. Energy optimisation and predictive maintenance become second nature, saving costs and extending product lifespans. Food prep gets a tech boost with smart fridges suggesting recipes based on expiring ingredients and optimising cooking settings for perfect meals. Health takes a data-driven turn with wearable trackers guiding workouts, personalised sleep monitors ensuring restful nights, and connected medical devices empowering preventative care. 

Leisure and entertainment get a digital makeover. Smart wearables become your personal fitness coach, tailoring workouts, tracking progress, and pushing you to your peak. Gaming transforms into immersive worlds where connected devices blur the lines between reality and the virtual. Travel takes a futuristic leap with smart luggage tracking your every step, connected travel guides revealing hidden gems, and personalised hotel experiences anticipating your every whim. 

From streamlining daily routines to enhancing leisure activities, IoT's tentacles reach wide and deep. The impact of this revolution is still unfolding, but the potential for transforming how we live, shop, and play is undeniable. So, buckle up, consumers, the future is connected, and it's coming at warp speed.

Do you think adoption of IoT technologies will grow significantly in the next two to three years?

Shabnam Pervez: Buckle up for an IoT revolution in the next few years. Costs are dropping, making smart homes, efficient workplaces, and data-driven cities a reality. From fridges that order groceries to wearables that coach your workout, expect a surge in connected devices. Challenges like security and compatibility are hurdles, but the potential to transform how we live, work, and play is undeniable.  

At GlobalData, we estimate that consumer goods spending by IoT will reach $22.7 billion in 2027, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% between 2022 and 2027.

Are you seeing any barriers to implementation of IoT in consumer goods?

Shabnam Pervez: Consumer goods face hurdles on the road to IoT. Costs of sensors and infrastructure can bite, and patchy connectivity hampers data flow. Security anxieties linger - who watches the smart fridge watching you? Privacy fears abound: will my coffee machine gossip about my caffeine habit? And let's not forget compatibility chaos - a smart speaker that only whispers to its own brand toaster?  

These roadblocks may slow the revolution, but the allure of personalised experiences and optimised living beckons. Can the industry innovate and bridge the gap? Only time will tell if our homes truly become the Jetsons' haven of connected convenience.

Which companies are the leading adopters of IoT in the consumer industry right now?

Shabnam Pervez: Some of the leading IoT adopters in the consumer industry include Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Diageo, Heineken, Kraft Heinz, L’Oréal, Philips, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence uses proprietary data, research, and analysis to provide a forward-looking perspective on the key themes that will shape the future of the world’s largest industries and the organisations within them.